Hocking Hills State Park is one of the best hiking destinations in the United States. The park’s extensive trail system showcases a variety of landmarks including rock formations, waterfalls, cliffs, and caves. There are rugged trails for seasoned hikers as well as short, paved routes for novices. The park even provides guided hikes throughout the year. If you know you want to embark on Hocking Hills hiking trails but don’t know where to start, we’ve got you covered! Below are fast facts about some of our favorite routes.
Be sure to access the Hocking Hills State Park Guide before you hit the trails! This resource serves as your comprehensive guide to all things outdoor recreation. Discover everything from popular hiking trails to hidden gems that only the locals know about. It’s free and delivered right to your inbox with the click of a button!
About Hocking Hills State Park
The Hocking Hills State Park Trails are open year-round from dawn to dusk. Each trail is different and has its own personality every season. There are rugged trails for the active seasoned hiker to paved, easily accessible, short trails. Benches run along some of the trails so you can sit down and enjoy the wildlife. While most hikes are self-guided, the Hocking Hills State Parks has scheduled hikes throughout the year. Starting in January, the Old Man’s Cave Winter Hike is 6 miles of rugged hiking from Old Man’s Cave to Cedar Falls to Ash Cave. Witness the blanketing snow and fabulous frozen waterfalls along the way.
In the Spring, Hocking Hills State Park offers the Wildflower and Waterfall hike. Observe hard-to-find species of wildflowers throughout the Ash Cave area. The Ash Cave waterfalls are breathtaking and since there is nothing behind the falls, adventurous hikers may go around the waterfall on all sides.
Being one of the state’s most beautiful and remote regions, with brilliant oranges, reds, greens, yellows, and even purple the burst of Fall color in Hocking Hills is a must.
Ash Cave comes alive with the Luminary Walk in December. Warm by the fire, listen to carolers, and help decorate the tree for wildlife.
Top 5 Hocking Hills Hiking Trails
Here are five of our favorite hiking trails in the Hocking Hills. Find one that suits your skill level, then be sure to bring a trail map along on your adventure. Happy hiking!
1. Cantwell Cliffs
First on our list is the scenic, one-mile hike to Cantwell Cliffs. This remote route is about 17 miles from any other trail but is well worth the extra haul. With its lush vegetation and dramatic cliffs, many have said that the Cantwell area is the most picturesque in Hocking County. Be sure to explore the narrow passages of “Fat Woman’s Squeeze” for a fun look at how erosion has shaped this region.
2. Cedar Falls
Cedar Falls is another fabulous hike in Hocking Hills State Park. The trail that leads to Cedar Falls is only a half–mile long and usually takes about 30 minutes to traverse. Laden with hemlock trees, this primitive area is known for its steep rock walls, grottos, and waterfalls. Cedar Falls itself is the greatest waterfall in Hocking Hills and displays an awesome force of waterpower. Don’t forget to bring your camera!
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3. Rock House
Nestled deep in the woods, the Rock House Trail is memorable for hikers of all ages. This scenic quarter-mile route resembles a South American jungle in the summertime! Once at the Rock House, feel free to explore the cave’s gothic-like windows and enjoy spectacular views of the green valley below.
4. Conkle’s Hollow
Conkle’s Hollow is a rugged, rocky gorge that’s considered one of the deepest in Ohio. Its Lower Trail offers a paved, mile-long journey that’s dotted with enormous hemlocks, rock formations, cliffs, and a meandering stream. The Upper Trail is about 2.5 miles long and leads to a spectacular waterfall.
5. Ash Cave
Ash Cave offers two of the southernmost trails in Hocking Hills State Park. Lower Ash Cave is handicap accessible and winds about a quarter–mile alongside the Ash Cave Gorge. The Upper Ash Cave Trail often referred to as the Ash Cave Rim, offers a more rugged climb that’s ideal for experienced hikers.
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Rest Your Legs at The Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls
Come back to The Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls to rest and restore after a day of exploring Hocking Hills hiking trails! We have everything you need to rest your tired muscles. Make an appointment for a massage at the Spa at Cedar Falls, then head back to your lodging option for a restorative night’s rest.
Choose from cabins, Pacific-style yurts, cottages, geodomes, and Hocking Hills lodges. Any overnight stay at The Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls comes with a daily breakfast to start your day. Our hearty, whole-food offerings are the perfect fuel for a day of hiking through the forest!
Check our availability to plan your Ohio nature escape!